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Gillingham striker Elliott Nevitt is a former Liverpool Sunday League star now hoping for success on his first move south

Newly signed striker Elliott Nevitt’s route to the pro game is out of the ordinary - something the Gillingham boss believes gives him an added edge.

Nevitt’s aged 27 and joined the Gills from Crewe Alexandra. He only turned professional three years ago after playing non-league football for various teams in Liverpool.

Gillingham signed striker Elliott Nevitt after a successful season at Crewe Picture: Gillingham FC
Gillingham signed striker Elliott Nevitt after a successful season at Crewe Picture: Gillingham FC

It was Tranmere Rovers who first took a punt on Nevitt, in June 2021, shortly after the striker’s Wembley hat-trick as Warrington Rylands won the FA Vase - a victory that came just six days after he scored an extra-time winner for Liverpool Business Houses Football League Premier Division side Campfield in the FA Sunday League Cup final at St George’s Park.

It was the second time he’d won an FA Sunday Cup winner’s medal with Campfield. He’d also played for non-league sides such as Everton Xavernians, Burscough, City of Liverpool (twice) and Bootle.

Nevitt spent 18 months at Tranmere before a switch to Crewe, where last season he scored 18 goals. For Gills manager Mark Bonner, it’s a backstory that he believes will help spur the striker on to want league success. His last game of the season was a League 2 play-off final defeat for Crewe at Wembley.

“I really like his backstory,” said the Gills boss, who has had to work his own way up through the ranks to become a Football League manager.

“He has come into professional football late and that gives him a real hunger. He has lived a normal life, had normal jobs, and that gives him a real understanding of what this is. It gives him a real desire to be successful and I have seen that in his game.

“I like his character. He has got a real drive about him, he wants to win and he had a good season with Crewe and got to the play-off final.”

Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner Picture: Ben Phillips

The Gills were quick to get their man - the first of four new faces that have arrived so far. His arrival was announced less than a week after the Wembley play-off game.

“His intent is huge,” said the Gills boss. “It is the first time he has come south, he will move with his girlfriend Morgan and they will come to the area, and it will be a big change for them, but we’re really looking forward to welcoming them.

“He is a really tenacious, hard-working, aggressive striker. He’s got an eye for goal, can lead from the front and together with Josh Andrews we have got two excellent number nines who can lead the line for us in any given game.”

Bonner added: “Nobody should be discounted for what they have done in the past for any reason, whether that’s a coach that hasn’t played or a player that has come late to the game.

“Anyone, despite their upbringing, despite their history, their past, anyone is capable of being a success and he has shown an incredible desire to get to the point where he’s at.

“He has had some good seasons at the level and he wants to be successful higher than this level. We want to try and help him continue from what he did last year.

“The hunger that he has got is really important to me. We need hungry players that are passionate to do well and deliver for us and almost can handle and embrace the ambitions that we have got. I think he has got a personality that can do that and part of that has come from his upbringing and his backstory.

“I like the fact that he has got a real bit between his teeth to be a success and we need a team full of that, that plays with the personality and of the expectation that is on our shoulders.”

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